A landlord’s responsibilities include maintaining a habitable, safe property for residents. As a landlord, you are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that there are no environmental hazards present that could put residents at risk. Issues like mold that go unresolved can cost landlords millions in potential tenant lawsuits. Property managers must be both vigilant and proactive in managing mold problems in their properties.
What’s at Risk
Most mold problems can be traced to ventilation issues or structural defects in the property. Moisture in an environment is all that’s needed to fuel mold growth. A combination of humidity and warm temperatures provide the perfect environment for sustained mold growth.
Mold issues can be damaging to a rental property. Whenever leakage or water damage occurs in a rental property, the entire structure is at risk of damage. The mold that is left untreated will only support mold growth. The materials used in residential construction attract mold. Whenever mold is detected, residents should be protected, and the property, treated.
All states have laws that protect residents from hazardous conditions. Landlords are required to act as soon as the conditions are reported. Their responsibility is to correct the conditions that make the dwelling uninhabitable. Some states even have legislation that cites toxic mold as a problem and outlines the responsibilities of a property owner to address that issue.
Got Mold? Follow These Steps:
- When the mold is first reported, the residents should be relocated if possible.
- Next, you should check your insurance coverage.
- You then need to report your mold claim to your insurer.
- An inspection should then be completed to investigate the extent of the mold problem which will help determine the best course of action for resolving the mold or moisture issue.
- The mold should then be removed, and mold remediation services should be performed by a licensed, reputable mold removal company.
- Repairs should then be scheduled to fix any pipe or roof leaks contributing to the problem.
Stop the Mold Before It Stops You
As a landlord, you are responsible for protecting your residents and your property. Most states have legislation that specifically points out what should be done in the event of a mold problem. Beginning work immediately with a licensed mold remediation company to evaluate and treat the property is imperative in avoiding legal claims that could cost you millions to resolve.